Social media marketing can be an excellent way to connect with your current and potential customers. When used correctly, it can increase brand awareness, create brand loyalty and help get you get the attention of new potential customers. However, when used the wrong way, it can end up annoying customers and driving them away. Here's how to avoid the 5 social media marketing "don'ts" so this doesn't happen to you.
1. Don't post the exact same message to all of your social media outlets. Some brands post the exact same information on their Facebook pages as they do on their Twitter accounts. If you do this, it means that customers who are following you on both networks are getting duplicate information. This shows your customers that you don't really care about putting an effort into engaging your social media followers. This will defeat the purpose of even posting on those networks at all and you will be in danger of losing your following.
2. Don't ignore the negative feedback you receive. It's inevitable that once in a while you'll get a bad comment on Facebook or someone on Twitter tweeting something rude. It's no secret that disgruntled customers often turn to social media to express their anger. However, to just delete these comments and act like they never happened is the wrong approach. It's important to follow up with the customer to resolve the issue. No one wants bad word-of-mouth advertising. Social media gives you a chance to see what people are saying about you and change their opinion of you. If a customer is upset because they came to your restaurant and received what they thought was "bad service," then invite them to come back free of charge. Whether you decide to publicly address the issue (so others can see how you handle it) or call the individual privately to resolve the conflict is your choice.
3. Don't use your social media network only as a sales tool. One of the biggest social media marketing no-no's is using your networks only to send a bunch of sales messages daily. Social media networks are a place to connect with and engage your customers, not bore them with generic sales messages. It's okay to announce a promotion or even a service you provide once in a while, but make sure your more "sales-y" messages are scarce when compared to your interesting and engaging content that customers will enjoy.
4. Don't constantly beg your existing fans to help you get more. Social media marketing isn't about who has the most followers, it's about who has the most engaged followers. If all you do is constantly ask your existing fans to help you get more, without providing any incentive or reward, they'll get bored and unfollow you. They'll also wonder why the great participation they're giving you isn't enough. Don't make your fans feel underappreciated; that's a big social media marketing faux pas.
5. Don't offer a promotion for "new customers only." We've all seen this marketing no-no. Although it's great that you're using social media to announce a promotion, it's bad that you're discluding some of your followers. Many brands offer a promotion only to new customers hoping to rope in some new clients. However, what about your existing clients? What do they get for being loyal to your brand? If they're following you on Facebook or Twitter, they're already a step ahead of your other customers. This means you should be giving them extra perks, not making them feel left out of a special discount. Remember to offer specials and inside information to your social network followers as a whole, because they are already a segmented group of your entire customer base.
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